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021119 Cannabis bust

Several cannabis plants are shown at a suspected illegal cultivation facility northeast of Lompoc on Monday morning. The facility was raided by officers with the Santa Barbara County Cannabis Compliance Team.

Santa Barbara County

Sheriff's officials seize 1,300 cannabis plants, 500 pounds of product in bust near Lompoc

More than 1,300 cannabis plants and about 500 pounds of processed cannabis product were seized from a suspected illegal cultivation facility northeast of Lompoc on Monday morning.

The bust came after officers with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team served a search warrant around 7 a.m. Monday in the 2000 block of Wild Oak Road, which is an unincorporated area near Lompoc. The search warrant was obtained after an investigation revealed the cannabis cultivation facility was operating with a temporary license that had been fraudulently obtained, according to a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

The plants and processed product were “eradicated,” the Sheriff’s Office reported. The 52-year-old Santa Barbara resident who was determined to be operating the facility will potentially face charges of perjury and illegal cultivation of cannabis. The Sheriff’s Office, which did not name the operator, reported that it will forward the case to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office for review.

The Santa Barbara County Cannabis Compliance Team was founded in June 2018 and consists of personnel from several county departments. The team primarily focuses on unlicensed and illegal cannabis operations within the county.

Anyone who suspects illegal cannabis cultivation activity is encouraged by the county to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 805-681-4100 and request to speak with a Cannabis Compliance Team detective. Anonymous tips can be left by calling 805-681-4171 or by visiting www.sbsheriff.org/home/anonymous-tip/.

Santa Barbara County

Strong winds, moderate rain forecast for approaching storm

The National Weather Service has forecast a storm that will reach Santa Barbara County on Wednesday is expected to bring strong winds, although rainfall levels are predicted to remain below debris flow thresholds.

But Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management officials are warning the public to stay alert to changing conditions and take steps to assure their safety.

Winds predicted from 15 to 20 mph Tuesday night are forecast to rise to 20 to 30 mph Wednesday, with gusts as high as 40 mph by Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Initial rainfall estimates between Tuesday night and Thursday night call for 1 to 2 inches along the coast and in coastal valleys, while 2 to 4 inches could fall in the foothills and mountains, forecasters said.

The chances of rain are 50 percent after 10 p.m. Tuesday night, rising to 100 percent Wednesday, then dropping to 80 percent Wednesday night and 60 percent Thursday morning.

A 30-percent chance of rain is forecast for Thursday night, dropping to a chance of showers Friday.

The storm is forecast to continue through Thursday, and the National Weather Service and Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor its status, officials said.

Santa Barbara County

Inmate reportedly dies in cell at Lompoc federal prison

An inmate died in his cell Sunday at the federal penitentiary in Lompoc, prison officials announced Monday morning.

The inmate, whose name was not released, was reportedly found unresponsive in his cell around 4:20 a.m. Sunday. Staff immediately called for assistance and began life-saving measures, according to the prison, but the inmate was subsequently pronounced dead by Emergency Medical Services personnel.

The FBI was notified and the incident is being investigated, prison officials reported.

The name of the deceased inmate is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, according to the prison.

The U.S. Penitentiary Lompoc is a medium security facility that currently houses 1,282 male offenders.

Additional information about the Federal Bureau of Prisons can be found at www.bop.gov.

Santa Barbara County

Four injured in head-on collision near Vandenberg Village

Four people were injured Sunday near Vandenberg Village when two vehicles were involved in a head-on collision at the intersection of Highway 1 and Santa Lucia Canyon Road, according to officials.

The crash occurred at 8:30 p.m., said Dave Zaniboni, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Santa Barbara County Fire and Vandenberg Fire responded to the crash, Zaniboni said. One person with moderate injuries was transported by American Medical Response to Marian Regional Medical Center. Three people with minor injuries were transported to Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

The accident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol, Zaniboni said.  

San Luis Obispo County

Diablo Canyon Power Plant's Unit 1 shut down Sunday for refueling, maintenance

The Unit 1 reactor at Diablo Canyon Power Plant was shut down Sunday for scheduled refueling and maintenance work, a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesman said.

During the outage, PG&E employees and temporary contract workers will replace a portion of the nuclear reactor fuel, perform maintenance and test systems and components that are not accessible during regular plant operation, the spokesman said.

Unit 2 will continue to generate electricity while Unit 1 is offline.

PG&E officials estimate more than 150,000 person-hours will be invested in the outage, which will consist of more than 12 major projects, the spokesman said.

“The work we are performing in the weeks ahead supports our strong commitment to operate DCPP in a safe and reliable manner and ensures the continued delivery of clean and affordable electricity to our customers," said Jim Welsch, PG&E vice president of Nuclear Generation and chief nuclear officer.

Each of the two reactor units at Diablo Canyon, located on the coast north of Avila Beach, is refueled about every 20 months. Unit 2 will undergo a planned refueling in the fall.

Together, Diablo Canyon’s twin reactors produce approximately 2,300 megawatts of electricity, about 10 percent of all electricity generated in California and enough to serve more than 3 million people in Northern and Central California.

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-- Staff reports

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